The idea of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) developed in the 1980s here in Massachusetts. And recently farmers are realizing this is one of the best economic models in existence to support small farms.
Farmshares work this way: you give a farmer money in the winter. The farmer uses that money to buy seeds, fix equipment, hire employees for the growing season. Each week of the growing season (typically May – October) you pick up a weekly share of your farmer’s harvest. Typically you spend between $20-30 per week and get produce with a value of $60-70. There are also winter shares, which are more rare, and typically run December–May.
You may not know all of this if you live in an urban area. CSAs have typically been more of a rural phenomenon. At Clover we started thinking about this a few years ago. What if we could make this whole process better? You learn about farms in a comfortable retail environment. We offer pick-up any day of the week. Our pick-up windows are long. We’re offering online sign-up and payment by credit card. And you’ll find a ton happening when we get into the harvest season.
Each farm has a limited number of shares. Shares will be offered first come first serve, and we expect all shares to sell out this season.
Sign up for a Winter CSA
Click here to sign up.
Pick Up Locations
Where are you going to pick up your share?
When you sign up for a CSA be sure to pick a farm that matches not only your price-point and values, but delivers on a day that works for your schedule, and to a location that’s easy for you to get to. The following sites are pickup locations for the Summer 2016 program:
- CloverHUB, 1075 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA
- CloverKND, 5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA
- CloverBLV, 6 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA
- CloverBUR, 100 Burlington Mall Road, Burlington, MA
- CloverHFI, 496 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA
- CloverDTX, 27 School Street, Boston, MA
Most farmers pick their produce in the morning, and then drive it in to Boston. This means most shares will be available from roughly 2pm all the way up until the restaurant location closes. We’re excited to be able to offer such a long window for pickup for folks who work long hours and might not be able to grab their share til 8 or 9pm.
Are the CSA vegetables the best vegetables I’m every going to have tasted in my life?
We think so. But if you want to know more find somebody who has bought from the farm in the past. We’ve carefully curated this program. These farms represent our favorite farms in the area.
What date can I begin expecting my bounty to arrive at Clover?
Each share starts on a different date, so check the item details to find out when yours begins.
What time can I pick up my shares?
Delivery times will vary slightly for each farm. Most farms are picking food that morning and driving it in. Shares will arrive between 2pm and 3pm, and will be available all the way up until Clover closes for the night (6pm-midnight depending on the location and day). After the first week, you’ll begin to get a good idea about when you can expect your share to arrive.
I can’t decide which CSA to sign up for, can I sign up for 2 or 3?
Of course. But no mixing and matching items from different shares. Each share represents a full commitment.
Is my credit card info safe?
We’re using mainstream processors for this stuff. We don’t see your card number. We just collect your money. We’re using Stripe for the payment processing.
Is Clover doing all the work?
NO. We’re doing very little. It’s the farmers that are growing your great food (and ours too). We’re just hoping to create a convenient way for you all to connect.
Does Clover take a cut?
No. The farmers have been asked this year to build a small fee into each share price that will cover the cost of credit card processing, the bins we’re going to supply, and the advertising we’re doing on behalf of the farmers. But there is no fee taken by Clover to cover our time and space. I’m not promising we’ll never add a fee, but for this year at least we’re able to make sure your money goes to the farmers.
Why is Clover doing this?
(1) We’d like to see everybody participate in CSAs. That would mean more farmed land in MA, and healthier happier residents.
(2) We love the fact that you’ll all be coming into our restaurants every week. Maybe you’ll buy something?
If I sign up for a CSA, then I’m late for a pick-up, or out of town, how will that work?
You will sacrifice that week’s share. We do not hold to the next day.
We have worked very hard to offer the largest pick-up windows in the world. But there’s no way we can make this work with special favors, hold-overs, etc. Sorry. No exceptions here.
We do suggest that if you know you’ll miss a share that you contact your farmer, they may be able to help you. Alternatively you could ask a friend to pick your share up that day.
Can I sign up for a CSA at Clover by sending a check to the farm?
All CSA signups for Clover must happen via the Clover website.